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EMBASSY/CONSULATE ADDRESSES

Diplomatic Representation in US:
Ambassador: Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.
Embassy: 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: [1] (202) 467-9300
Fax: [1] (202) 466-6288


US Diplomatic Representation:

Ambassador: Harry K. Thomas, Jr.
Embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita Manila 1000
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 151 Manila. PSC 500, FPO AP 96515-1000
Telephone: [63] (2) 528-6300
Fax: [63] (2) 522-4361

Consulate(s) are in:
San Diego
600 B St., Suite 1200,
San Diego, CA 92101.
(619) 544-9058

Mariana Islands
C T C Bldg., Beach Rd., 2nd Floor,
San Jose, Saipan, 96950.
(670)234-1848

Consulate(s) General in:
Los Angeles
3600 Wilshire Bl., Suite 500,
Los Angeles, CA 90010.
(213) 639-0980, FAX (213) 639-0990

San Francisco

Philippine Ctr. Blg., 447 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA 94108.
(415) 433-6666

Tamuning
Guam International Center, Marine Dr., Suite 601 & 602,
Tamuning, Guam 96911.
P.O. BOX 9880, TAMUNING, GUAM,
(671) 646-4620

Honolulu
2433 Pali Hwy.,
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817.
(808) 595-6316

Chicago
30 N. Michigan Av., Suite 2100,
Chicago, IL 60602.
(312) 332-6458

New York
Philippine Ctr., 556 5th Av.,
New York, NY 10036.
(212) 764-133


Embassy and Consulate Web Sites for the Phillippines

U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines
Embassy of the Philippines in Washington DC, U.S.A.
Consulate General of Philippines in Chicago
Consulate General of Philippines in New York
Consulate General of Philippines in Los Angeles
Consulate General of Philippines in San Francisco


FOREIGN RELATIONS

In its foreign policy, the Philippines cultivates constructive relations with its Asian neighbors, with whom it is linked through membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The Philippines chaired ASEAN from 2006 to 2007, hosting the ASEAN Heads of State Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum. The Philippines is a member of the UN and some of its specialized agencies, and served a 2-year term as a member of the UN Security Council from 2004-2005, acting as UNSC President in September 2005. Since 1992, the Philippines has been a member of the Non-Aligned Movement. The government is seeking observer status in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The Philippines has played a key role in ASEAN in recent years, ratifying the ASEAN Charter in October 2008. The Philippines also values its relations with the countries of the Middle East, in no small part because hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are employed in that region. The welfare of the some four million to five million overseas Filipino contract workers is considered to be a pillar of Philippine foreign policy.

The Philippines signed its first bilateral free trade agreement in 2006 with Japan under the Japan Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). The Philippines has also begun implementing preferential rates under the ASEAN trade in goods agreement (ATIGA), ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Korea, and ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade Areas.

The fundamental Philippine attachment to democracy and human rights is reflected in its foreign policy. Philippine soldiers and police have participated in a number of multilateral civilian police and peacekeeping operations, and a Philippine Army general served as the first commander of the UN Peacekeeping Operation in East Timor. The Philippines presently has peacekeepers deployed in eight UN peacekeeping operations worldwide. The Philippines participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, deploying some 50 troops to Iraq in 2003. (These troops were subsequently withdrawn in 2004 after the kidnapping of a Filipino overseas worker.) The Philippine Government also has been active in efforts to reduce tensions among rival claimants to the territories and waters of the resource-rich South China Sea.

U.S.-PHILIPPINE RELATIONS
U.S.-Philippine relations are based on shared history and commitment to democratic principles, as well as on economic ties. The historical and cultural links between the Philippines and the United States remain strong. The Philippines modeled its governmental institutions on those of the United States and continues to share a commitment to democracy and human rights. At the most fundamental level of bilateral relations, human links continue to form a strong bridge between the two countries. There are an estimated four million Americans of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and more than 300,000 American citizens in the Philippines.

Until November 1992, pursuant to the 1947 Military Bases Agreement, the United States maintained and operated major facilities at Clark Air Base, Subic Bay Naval Complex, and several small subsidiary installations in the Philippines. In August 1991, negotiators from the two countries reached agreement on a draft treaty providing for use of Subic Bay Naval Base by U.S. forces for 10 years. The draft treaty did not include use of Clark Air Base, which had been so heavily damaged by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo that the United States decided to abandon it.

In September 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the bases treaty, and despite further efforts to salvage the situation, the two sides could not reach an agreement. As a result, the Philippine Government informed the United States on December 6, 1991, that it would have 1 year to complete withdrawal. That withdrawal went smoothly and was completed ahead of schedule, with the last U.S. forces departing on November 24, 1992. On departure, the U.S. Government turned over assets worth more than $1.3 billion to the Philippines, including an airport and ship-repair facility. Agencies formed by the Philippine Government have converted the former military bases for civilian commercial use, with Subic Bay serving as a flagship for that effort.

The post-U.S. bases era has seen U.S.-Philippine relations improved and broadened, with a prominent focus on economic and commercial ties while maintaining the importance of the security dimension. U.S. investment continues to play an important role in the Philippine economy, while a strong security relationship rests on the 1952 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). In February 1998, U.S. and Philippine negotiators concluded the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), paving the way for increased military cooperation under the MDT. The agreement was approved by the Philippine Senate in May 1999 and entered into force on June 1, 1999. Under the VFA, the United States has conducted ship visits to Philippine ports and resumed large combined military exercises with Philippine forces. In October 2003, the United States designated the Philippines as a Major Non-NATO Ally. That same month, the Philippines joined the select group of countries to have ratified all 12 UN counterterrorism conventions.

President Ramos visited the United States in April 1998, and President Estrada visited in July 2000. President Arroyo met with President George W. Bush in an official working visit in November 2001, made a state visit in Washington on May 19, 2003, and returned for additional visits on June 24, 2008, July 30, 2009, and April 12, 2010 for the Nuclear Security Summit. President Bush made a state visit to the Philippines on October 18, 2003, during which he addressed a joint session of the Philippine Congress--the first American President to do so since Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Aquino’s first overseas trip as President was to the United States, on the occasion of the 2010 UN General Assembly. There are regular U.S. cabinet-level, congressional, and military visits to the Philippines as well. The United States and Philippines held the first-ever Bilateral Strategic Dialogue on January 27-28, 2011, in Manila to advance discussion and cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global issues.

Annual bilateral military exercises contribute directly to the Philippine armed forces' efforts to combat the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah groups and bring development and relief to conflict- and disaster-affected areas. The exercises include not only combined military training but also civil-military affairs and humanitarian projects. The International Military Education and Training (IMET) program is the largest in the Pacific and the third-largest in the world, and a Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) was signed in November 2002. In law enforcement, U.S. and Philippine agencies have cooperated to bring charges against numerous terrorists, to implement the countries' extradition treaty, and to train thousands of Filipino law enforcement officers. A Resident Legal Advisor also provides training to Philippine prosecutors.

In FY 2010, the U.S. Government--working closely with the Philippine Government, civil society, the private sector, and other donors--provided $176.5 million in grant funds to foster inclusive economic growth and alleviate poverty; strengthen democratic institutions and governance; and counter transnational terrorism and insurgency in Mindanao. To achieve inclusive economic growth and alleviate poverty, the U.S. Government is supporting a broad range of socio-economic efforts, including activities to promote fiscal and trade policy reforms; infrastructure development; business climate improvement; enterprise development; natural resources management; improved health and education services; and increased access to clean and affordable energy, water, and sanitation services. To strengthen democratic institutions and governance, the U.S. Government is supporting judicial capacity building, fiscal management and accountability of local governments, election administration and management, civil society strengthening, alternative dispute resolution, human rights law enforcement, and activities to combat corruption and human trafficking. To counter transnational terrorism and insurgency, the U.S. Government is helping to increase the abilities of military and civilian law enforcement agencies. The United States also provides humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons in conflict-affected areas and to victims of natural disasters. About 60% of economic assistance resources are targeted for Mindanao for programs that promote socio-economic growth and promote peace and security. In September 2010, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) signed a $434-million compact with the Philippines. The 5-year compact provides funding for three major projects: road construction and rehabilitation, community development, and revenue administration.

An estimated 600,000 Americans visit the Philippines each year, while an estimated 300,000 reside in-country. Providing government services to U.S. and other citizens, therefore, constitutes an important aspect of the bilateral relationship. Those services include veterans' affairs, social security, and consular assistance. The newly completed Veterans Affairs Clinic and NOX 1 building, housing consular and other services, offer improved platforms for client service on the U.S. Embassy grounds, and the third and final building of that $120 million construction project should be completed by 2013. Benefits to Filipinos and U.S. citizens resident in the Philippines from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration totaled approximately $502 million in fiscal year 2010. Many people-to-people programs exist between the United States and the Philippines, including Fulbright, International Visitors, and Aquino Fellowship exchange programs, as well as the U.S. Peace Corps.

Trade and Investment
The United States competes closely as one of the Philippines’ top two trading partners. Two-way U.S. merchandise trade with the Philippines--which declined from $17 billion in 2008 to $12.6 billion in 2009 following declines in global trade flows--increased to $15.4 billion in 2010 (U.S. Department of Commerce data). According to Philippine Government data, about 11% of the Philippines' imports in 2010 came from the United States, and about 15% of its exports were bound for America. In 2010, the Philippines was our 30th-largest export market and our 36th-largest supplier. Key exports to the United States are semiconductor devices and computer peripherals, automobile parts, electric machinery, textiles and garments, wheat and animal feeds, and coconut oil. In addition to other goods, the Philippines imports raw and semi-processed materials for the manufacture of semiconductors, electronics and electrical machinery, transport equipment, and cereals and cereal preparations.

The Philippines has ranked among the largest beneficiaries of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program for developing countries, which provides preferential duty-free access to the U.S. market. In 2010, the Philippines was the eighth-largest exporter under the GSP program with nearly $913 million in duty-free exports to the United States.

The United States traditionally has been the Philippines' largest foreign investor, with close to $6 billion in total foreign direct investment as of end-2009. The United States has a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the Philippines.

Since the late 1980s, the Philippines has undertaken reforms that encourage foreign investment as a basis for economic development, subject to certain restrictions. For example, it opened the power generation sector to foreign investment, introduced competition to the telecommunications and sea and air transport sectors, ratified the Uruguay Round agreement, and became a member of the World Trade Organization. The new Aquino administration has signaled that it is pro-business, and is making efforts to open up the country to foreign investment, especially in large infrastructure projects. Business process outsourcing operations, also known as call centers, tourism, and mining likewise offer investment opportunities. Major obstacles include a prohibition on foreign ownership of land, and constitutional restrictions on majority foreign ownership of public utilities.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Harry K. Thomas, Jr.
Deputy Chief of Mission--Leslie A. Bassett
Political Counselor--Joy O. Yamamoto
Economic Counselor--Brian P. Doherty
Public Affairs Counselor--Richard W. Nelson
Consul General--Michael R. Schimmel

The U.S. Embassy is located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila; tel. (63)(2) 528-6300; fax 522-4361; website: http://manila.usembassy.gov/. The American Business Center is located at 25/F, Ayala Life - FGU Center, 6811 Ayala Avenue, Makati City. It houses the Foreign Commercial Service: tel. (63)(2) 888-4088; fax 888-6606; website: http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwh3012.html; and the Foreign Agricultural Service: tel. (63)(2) 887-1137; fax 887-1268; website: http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwh3011.html.


TRAVEL ADVISORIES

To obtain the latest Travel Advisory Information for the Philippines check the U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet.


TRAVEL TIPS

Driving U.S Driving Permit accepted
Currency (PHP) Philippine peso
Electrical 220 Volts
Telephones Country Code 63, City Code, Manila 2+8/10, Balamban 32+7D, Atimonan 42+7D



Weather
The Philippines is tropical with just two seasons hot and dry from November to June and rainy from July to October. Filipinos will tell you that it is cool from December through February and they themselves will wear jackets.

Clothing
People in the Philippines dress for the weather (HOT!) Casual attire during the day for women is light blouses and shorts. For men collared T- shirts worn over slacks. In the evening skirts are substituted for shorts and the T-shirts are tucked in.

Business Hours
Most businesses are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays and 8:00 AM till noon Saturdays.

Banks are open from 9:00 AM till 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. When banking in the Philippines, it is advisable to have your passport with you for identification.

Language
While there are over 100 regional languages in the Philippines, the national language is Filipino, with English as the most widely spoken second language. All business, governmental and legal transactions are conducted in English.


CUSTOMS/DUTIES

Tobacco.........................400 Cigarettes Or 50 Cigars Or 250g Of Tobacco

Liquor............................2 Bottles Alcoholic Beverages Of 1 Liter Each

Prohibited Items:..........Firearms, Explosives, Pornographic Material, Seditious Or Subversive Material, Narcotics And Other Internationally Prohibited Drugs (Unless Accompanied By A Medical Prescription).



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